Welfare to Work: Does It Really Benefit Single Parents?
When President Clinton signed the Personal Responsible & Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act in August of 1996, it ended welfare as we know it. Under this reform, wages and earnings replaced welfare, but many critics felt only problems arose from this program. Welfare to work forces poor and single parents into jobs that do not supply sufficient living wages (Albelda 1). These single parents can never work enough hours to support their families because the jobs are often inflexible which is not a match for a single parent. Chances are employers who hire low wage workers do not want workers to come in late because there was no child care or miss days because the child was sick. Welfare to work fails to realize parents probably should not put their low wage jobs before the needs of their children. The jobs provided somehow seem to have the least benefits. Things like vacations, sick days, and health care that go hand in hand with a regular job are not as available in these low wage jobs (Albelda 1).Transportation and location are other huge problems that welfare to work does not accommodate all to well. In suburban and rural areas where buses are not that accessible, the workers have to get on "work vans" to travel long distances. Either parents then have to pay more money to sitters or the kids are spending even more time without their parents. ; thus creating more problems than solutions. In the film Bowling for Columbine, Michael Moore shows us where the welfare to work program goes wrong. In a rural area of Flint, Michigan a mother was in welfare to work program. She traveled long distances, worked long hours, and still barely made living wages. The rent was overdue and the mother decided to work some extra hours, so she sent the son to her brother's house. There the son found a gun and shot another six year old in his elementary school. Furthermore, workers employed as low wage workers tend to receive...
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